New Viewings: Greg Fadell, Shellburne Thurber, David Thorpe / Curated by Stephen Hepworth

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New Viewings: Greg Fadell, Shellburne Thurber, David Thorpe / Curated by Stephen Hepworth

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New Viewings: Greg Fadell, Shellburne Thurber, David Thorpe / Curated by Stephen Hepworth

Detroit based Greg Fadell’s series Erasures, Wipe Outs, and Unpaintings appear to pay homage to the Willem De Kooning drawing Robert Rauschenberg partially erased in 1953. Rather than using an original artwork he takes a museum poster, or a reproduction from a book that is scanned and enlarged complete with caption, and carefully mounts it onto a wood panel. He then sets to work with solvents reworking the image retaining just enough information for the source to be recognizable but transforming its material constituents into an abstracted blur. His intervention articulates the tensions between the past and present uses of the image as he shifts from the consideration of the original artwork, to its reproduced form and its new original form, these distinctions collapsing within each work.

Here in Barbara Thumm’s Berlin Gallery reproduced works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and the French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau appear to have been applied to the floors of the space ahead of the artists’ intervention with a industrial quantities of cleaning fluids, each sweep of the mop leaving its mark as the now freed pigments leave traces and create new histories. Fadell’s work raises questions of value in terms of damage as an aesthetic, an approach whose echoes can be found in his home city of Detroit, where urban decay appears to many outsiders as an exotic form of enticement.

Greg Fadell
Untitled, 2015
Gerhard Richter Foundation Beyeler poster on cotton on wood panel
100 x 70 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

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Greg Fadell
Untitled, 2015
William Bourguereau Detroit Institute of Arts poster on cotton on wood panel
61 x 81 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

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Greg Fadell
Untitled, 2015
Jeff Koons Foundation Beyeler Poster on cotton on wood panel
100 x 70 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

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Greg Fadell
Untitled, 2015
Cy Twombly Gagosian poster on cotton on wood panel
99 x 68,5 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

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Boston based, Shellburne Thurber uses the medium of photography to explore the relationship between constructed space and human presence. Most recently she has used the site of her family’s New Hampshire home to expand on this exploration to include the concept of constructed space as a metaphor for the body – specifically the house as a stand-in for the mother, a structure that witnesses, nurtures, contains and protects those who reside within its walls. Emerging from years of observing the way that the changing seasons and the attendant shifts in light alter these long familiar spaces in minute yet powerful ways, the act of photographing becomes a way of experiencing something, known over a long period of time, in a new and transformative way, creating images that encompass the complex and uncomfortable question of change, stasis, and the inevitability of loss. Here, Thurber has created an environment that reflects her interest in the landscape as both an extension of the home and as another kind of interior-inside and out being symbiotically connected.

Speaking of this body of work, collectively titled Phantom Limb, she said: ”To be surrounded by a person’s possessions and immersed in the texture of the landscape and the buildings in which they lived, to see the light and the weather they saw from the places they inhabited, is to know that person in a particularly powerful way. Emerging from this intimate connection has been my continuing interest in the interactions of human presence, landscape and architecture.”

Shellburne Thurber studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston at the start of the 1970s where her contemporaries include David Armstrong, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Nan Goldin. Their extended circle included other Boston based artists (including Mark Morrisroe and Jack Pierson) a grouping that has become known as the ‘Boston School’, and is recognized for the way in which it brought a new intimacy and informality to the language of documentary photography.

Shellburne Thurber
Light refracting through trees, 2019
Black and white archival photographic print
53,84 x 50,8 cm
Ed. of 12. 3.000 USD incl. VAT

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Shellburne Thurber
Shadow on Back Door, 2019
Black and white archival photographic print
50,8 x 50,8 cm
Ed. of 12, 3.000 USD incl. VAT

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Shellburne Thurber
Parent’s Bedroom at Night, 2019
Black and white archival photographic print
50,8 x 50,8 cm
Ed. of 12. 3.000 USD incl. VAT

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Shellburne Thurber
My Dresser at Night, 2019
Black and white archival photographic print
50,8 x 50,8 cm
Ed. of 12. 3.000 USD incl. VAT

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Berlin based, British born, artist David Thorpe proposes a poster project to be taken out into the city to adorn its buildings and interiors with images of sensual botanical illustrations of hybrid plants ripe with fruit; their foliage reaching out to the edges of the sheet as if to green the city with their intoxicating fecundity. Drawing on the tradition of the socialist propaganda poster, fused with the ideals of many of the embryonic communities contemporary with the British Arts and Crafts movement that were similarly designed as models for the improvement of society, and based in a nostalgia-driven quest for some spiritual or pre-industrial Eden-like world, his project Wild Risings: Billboards for Erotic Socialists seems perfectly timed for a world currently re-evaluating its future path.

Thorpe’s art practice is a love affair with labor and craft, distancing itself through an act of adoration from the alienating characteristics of modernity and the ways of being of the modern man. Inspired in part by the art critic John Ruskin and the late socialist writing of William Morris, he applies an aesthetic of organic ornaments and botanical motifs that act as a veil and as a protective skin to enclose and hide an increasingly vital yet marginalized philosophy. These images originally produced as frescos, a technique resulting in brilliant and vibrant colors, speak to a forgotten past as their titles stridently declare a present and pressing intent. Through such a gesture, Thorpe advocates an opposition towards an economic and a social order closely connected with the modern and consequently the contemporary world we are immersed in today.

David Thorpe
Wild Risings: Billboards for Erotic Socialists (Proud Beast Surviving), 2020
Digital print on blue backed paper
240 x 185 cm
Open Edition. 300 EUR excl. VAT

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David Thorpe
Wild Risings: Billboards for Erotic Socialists (Proud Beast is Rising), 2020
Digital print on blue backed paper
240 x 185 cm
Open Edition. 300 EUR excl. VAT

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David Thorpe
Wild Risings: Billboards for Erotic Socialists (A Glimpse of a Gift to Another), 2020
Digital print on blue backed paper
240 x 185 cm
Open Edition. 300 EUR excl. VAT

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David Thorpe
Wild Risings: Billboards for Erotic Socialists (Wild Body in Joy Glowing), 2020
Digital print on blue backed paper
240 x 185 cm
Open Edition. 300 EUR excl. VAT

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